Hi. My name on the internet is Jake Silver. Some of you know me. Some of you know this Blog. Some of you have never visited before, and that's okay. Today I am going to tell you about my battle with CUSHING'S DISEASE.
It probably all started in 2005. I began to gain a lot of weight very rapidly and only on my face and stomach. I gained about 30 pounds and weighed about 170 at one point. I started this Blog NOV 2005 and throughout I struggled with my weight. I didn't know it was a precursor to more insidious problems to come. My blood pressure rose and I got stretch marks on my thighs and butt.
In the summer of 2006 I began to have serious back pain. I thought maybe my workout routine was imbalanced so I tried to do more back exercises. I also thought carrying my new son (now 2 1/2) contributed to the problem. But it did not go away and in OCT '06 I went to see a Doctor who said I wasn't stretching right. He sent me to Physical Therapy and prescribed Motrin. They gave me a stretching routine to do which felt nice but didn't alleviate my back problems. I returned to the Doctor in DEC '06 and he prescribed more stretching, Motrin and muscle relaxers.
In the summer of 2007 my back pain continued to get worse and now my feet were killing me as well. They sent me to a Spine Specialist who said I had some disc deteroration and some kind of early onset arthritis. At this point my main doctors ran tests for Rhematoid Arthritis and some other nasty things. One nurse suggested it might be Fibromyalgia.
In fall 2007 I was pushing on some wolling equipment at work we call AGE and I was using my chest for leverge and my chest popped in. OUCH!!! I went to the doctor and they discovered I had also fractured 7 ribs in the back at some point earlier.
That is when they questioned me about my blood pressure and my weight...
I mean, here is another photo from my Cushing's Dayz:
In November 2007 they finally did a 24 Urine test and discovred I had way too high levels of Cortisol, which indicated Cushing's Syndrome.
They referred me to an Endocrinologist, who is brilliant, and he repeated the test to confirm it. Then we had to figure out what was cauing it. I wasn't on any steroids... Well in Nov around Thanksgiving I completely threw my back out and laid on the couch for two days. Then it happened again.
I had to take leave from work... and it turned out that leave lasted for 6 MONTHS. My back was just "gone". It was too painful to stand or sit up so I laid on the couch and crwled everywhere. I tried to do exercise and Physical Therapy but after a month or so I could no longer get in th car at all. I had a walker and a wheelchair.
My wife was a saint and an angel the whole time... encouraging me and taking care of everything.. Tathan, the chores, my medical stuff and my professional stuff. My unit and Squadron was excellent the whole time. At first I didn't tell them what was going on but after my doctor's had misdiagnosed my symptoms and wrote me off as another airman trying to get out of work I was upset. My tests came back showing I had severe osteoporosis and my bones were extremely fragile. One I told my squadron about my problems, my first shirts literally came to my rescue. I will never ever be able to repay all that they did and continue to do for me and my family.
Also my Mom moved in for a few months to help with the house and to boost my spirit. Her company was very valued during this trial. And my Dad and step-mom also came in and helped me with transporation and morale.
I was on muscle relaxers and, after a nasty reaction to Tramadol AKA Ultram, I was on Lortab. (Vicoden)
In Jan 08 I was sent to Eglin for tests. My Dad took me and they said they could not find any growths on my adrenal glands (one of the causes of Cushing's)... and my brain scans were inconclusive. But I do have to say that Eglin Medical is the epitome of AF "Excellence".
In Feb 08 I went to the University of Alabama MedicAL center and they did this weird test where they send tubes through your groin to your brain and take blood or something to figure out IF there is a tumor in your Pituitary Gland and if so, which side.
Well the first time they jacked it up, which they graciously admitted. The second time (which they paid for) they detected the tumor, so my surgeon scheduled me for surgery... which by the way on the MORNING of my surgery TRICARE had not agreed to pay for but my First Sgt. saved the day again and fixed it within the hour.
After the surgery I thought everything would be back to normal but that didn't happen... instead I was in so much pain I was barely mobile at all. THEN in March I suffered a seizure and had to be hospitalized. After I woke up from my seizure I was in more pain than ever. So they sent me to an inpatient rehab facility run by HealthSouth. They helped me roll over, sit up and start walking again.
All those things you take for granted like getting up to go get a soda or use the bathroom on your own... believe me I am very grateful for.
After my release frm HealthSouth, I was trying to get off steroids to fast and I got really sick. I could barely eat andI started throwing up all day. So I went to the hospital two weekends in a row.
The weekend of April 26 was my birthday and I decided my best present would be to go back to work ... so on May 1st I went back to work with a cane and a profile. I have only stayed home once... the next day!! From being so sore.
On July 8th I returned to the flightline and to AMU Physical Training. My current profile says I can't run... (I can only jog for a few minutes before the jarring is too much.) No Sit-Ups (crunches are fine) and I can't lift anything really heavy. About 45 pounds is my limit. I am working and fixing planes everyday.
I am off all drugs and medications... I take Tylenol maybe 3x a week. I am taking vitamins and supplements like Calcium and Glucosamine and MSM. I did try stopping my Cortef completely, but I started getting really tired and very itchy skin and more aches. So I am taking it again.
The AF Informal Physical Evaluation Board returned a decision to Temp Retire me for 15 months with 100 percent pay and benefits with a Re-Eval in 15 months. But I am appealing it on principle. I can fix jets right now with no problems so I might as well do my job the taxpayers pay me to do instead of have a free vacation.
Stay tuned? and any questions ask me : firstname.lastname@example.org